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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Top general calls damage in Puerto Rico ‘the worst he’s ever seen’

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, the Department of Defense’s primary military liaison with FEMA, toured the damage in Puerto Rico for the first time Saturday during a helicopter ride from San Juan to Ceiba. After landing at a hangar in Ceiba with no power, internet or cellular service, Buchanan spoke with the PBS NewsHour’s Monica Villamizar.

“Sometimes we don’t know what’s going to happen until the storm actually hits, and this is the worst I’ve ever seen,” Buchanan said.

The trip occurred hours after President Donald Trump criticized San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz for “poor leadership” after she spoke of devastation and “horror” on the island in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and pleaded for help and support from the government. “We are dying here,” she said during a news conference Friday. 

See PBS full article with video

Sunday, September 24, 2017

HOW TO HELP PUERTO RICO AFTER HURRICANE MARIA

Puerto Rico was impacted by Hurricane Irma just weeks earlier, but suffered immense destruction from Maria. The First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló, launched an emergency fund, in association with major companies in the private sector such as Coca-Cola and Walmart.

The Hispanic Federation, a major Latino not-for-profit, launched an emergency fund for Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic in light of Hurricane Maria, backed by local New York City politicians.

AmeriCares is raising money to send medical supplies to Puerto Rico.

All Hands Volunteers has sent teams of volunteers to the British Virgin Islands, which was affected by both Maria and Irma.

4. Help long-term rebuilding

The non-profit organization ConPRmetidos, a non-partisan Puerto Rican not-for-profit launched an emergency recovery fund for Puerto Ricans affected by Maria and Irma, with all money going to long-term relief, "such as rebuilding houses according to safety codes or giving energy generators for common areas in disconnected communities."

Los Ambulantes provides extensive information on charities accepting donations and volunteering options, including the Surge Capacity Force, which is open to US government employees to assist with rebuilding Puerto Rico infrastructure and administration.

5. Join Puerto Rican celebrities

Lin Manuel-Miranda, creator of the musical Hamilton, is penning a benefit song. Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin donated $100,000 and launched his own fundraising page. Rapper Daddy Yankee is collecting donations and supplies at his concerts in New York and Chicago, while his "Despacito" co-star Luis Fonsi also encouraged fans to donate to United for Puerto Rico.

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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Noonan: Trump Is Woody Allen Without the Humor

The president’s primary problem as a leader is not that he is impetuous, brash or naive. It’s not that he is inexperienced, crude, an outsider. It is that he is weak and sniveling. It is that he undermines himself almost daily by ignoring traditional norms and forms of American masculinity.

He’s not strong and self-controlled, not cool and tough, not low-key and determined; he’s whiny, weepy and self-pitying. He throws himself, sobbing, on the body politic. He’s a drama queen. It was once said, sarcastically, of George H.W. Bush that he reminded everyone of her first husband. Trump must remind people of their first wife. Actually his wife, Melania, is tougher than he is with her stoicism and grace, her self-discipline and desire to show the world respect by presenting herself with dignity.

Half the president’s tweets show utter weakness. They are plaintive, shrill little cries, usually just after dawn. “It’s very sad that Republicans, even some that were carried over the line on my back, do very little to protect their president.” The brutes. Actually they’ve been laboring to be loyal to him since Inauguration Day. “The Republicans never discuss how good their health care bill is.” True, but neither does Mr. Trump, who seems unsure of its content. In just the past two weeks, of the press, he complained: “Every story/opinion, even if should be positive, is bad!” Journalists produce “highly slanted & even fraudulent reporting.” They are “DISTORTING DEMOCRACY.” They “fabricate the facts.”

It’s all whimpering accusation and finger-pointing: Nobody’s nice to me. Why don’t they appreciate me?

His public brutalizing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions isn’t strong, cool and deadly; it’s limp, lame and blubbery. “Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes,” he tweeted this week. Talk about projection.

He told the Journal’s Michael C. Bender he is disappointed in Mr. Sessions and doesn’t feel any particular loyalty toward him. “He was a senator, he looks at 40,000 people and he probably says, ‘What do I have to lose?’ And he endorsed me. So it’s not like a great loyal thing about the endorsement.” Actually, Mr. Sessions supported him early and put his personal credibility on the line. In Politico, John J. Pitney Jr. of Claremont McKenna College writes: “Loyalty is about strength. It is about sticking with a person, a cause, an idea or a country even when it is costly, difficult or unpopular.” A strong man does that. A weak one would unleash his resentments and derive sadistic pleasure from their unleashing.... (Continues at WSJ)